BILLINGS – Hardin and Billings Central are considered two of the top teams in Class A and both the boys and girls played epic games at Rimrock Auto Arena on Saturday night.
The girls started things off. The Hardin Lady Bulldogs trailed by 3 points with four seconds to play but a Karissa DuShane fade away three at the buzzer erased that deficit and sent the game into overtime.
Hardin led most of the overtime period but Olivia Moten-Schell would not be denied. She converted a three point play with under a minute to play and with 4 seconds left she was fouled and knocked down both free throws to send the game into double overtime.
In the final overtime period, Hardin once again turned to DuShane and she did not disappoint. The senior guard knocked down a step back triple and banked in a running lay up as the Lady Bulldogs survived 66-64 in a thriller.
The boys followed right after and they turned in an epic finish of their own.
The Rams trailed by 14 points in the third quarter, but Chrishon Dixon rallied his troops and a steal plus lay up by Joe Byorth gave Central a 70-68 lead with 15 seconds remaining.
However, just like in the girls game, Hardin came up in the clutch. Famous Lefthand hit a running jumper at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime period, the two teams traded scores as the Bulldogs took a 79-78 lead with 8.5 ticks left. That left it up to Central to respond and they did. Dixon missed a runner, but Liam Clancy got the rebound and drew the foul just before time expired. Clancy knocked down one of two free throws and the game headed to double overtime.
The second overtime period was still not enough to decide it and the two teams went to triple overtime. In the third overtime period, Hardin pulled away for the 97-87 win.
Two games, five overtimes and two epic finishes Saturday night at Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings.